The Internet of Things is in its golden age and a huge chunk of its potential remains to be achieved. 2020 has been an important year for IoT and as 2021 approaches, the technology is being touted as an imperative business requirement. The Internet of Things is versatile, contributing greatly to how we engage, interact, and work with others.
According to statistics, by 2021, an estimated 35 billion IoT devices will be installed in different parts of the world. By 2025, that number would have increased to 75.44 billion. This persistently skyrocketing number of IoT devices will produce additional opportunities for businesses both large and small to take advantage of smart technologies.
Importantly, as a tech-oriented network of connected devices, the Internet of Things can enhance better data sharing processes within the network. The ability of IoT to allow equipment and drives to interact will impact businesses and human lives alike.
As an increasing number of enterprises will consider IoT as a necessary tool regardless of the hype, this will only lead to its mass adoption. In the rest of this article, we will discuss what IoT trends will impact businesses across different sectors worldwide in 2021, given that the technology is still in its untapped form.
Top Emerging IoT Trends Businesses Should Look for in 2021
Rise of the smart city solutions
In the last 5 years, we have witnessed several governmental bodies launch IoT projects with impacts on entire cities. For example, the city government of Amsterdam utilizes a public Wi-Fi network, cameras, and adaptive lighting in the squares of the city.
Singapore utilizes a Smart Nation Sensor Platform to gather, process, and transmit data from connected devices and sensors to enhance public safety, transportation, and urban planning on the island.
As these remarkable projects begin to produce huge quantities of data, governments have the opportunity to execute several intelligent solutions to improve the safety of their citizens, unleash sustainable growth, and reduce traffic congestion, thanks to the implementation of AI. Edge computing and 5G developments will advance data processing to a higher level as cities are getting transformed into centers for innovation.
Security: a major concern
The Internet of Things solutions provide useful insights and data to both individuals and businesses. Even though it offers a plethora of benefits, it remains prone to cyberattacks. A good example can be observed in the first 6 months of just 2019; when 105 million attacks were detected by Kaspersky on IoT endpoints.
As a result of the persistent IoT security issues facing many solutions, recent studies show that an estimate of 90% of consumers is not confident in the security of IoT devices. Therefore, it has become pertinent for people utilizing this technology to confirm the confidentiality and integrity of IoT data and solutions in the process of decreasing cybersecurity threats.
As a matter of fact, several organizations are generating IoT security solutions with the use of blockchains. KT (the defunct Korean Television), South Korea’s number one telecoms operator, recently revealed its blockchain solution to protect IoT connected devices through satellite. The service contains powerful connections against tampering, enabling compromised systems in a network to shut down, and prohibiting access to devices.
Blockchain and IoT
One of the latest IoT trends is the soaring adoption of blockchain technology. No doubts, the most prominent benefit of blockchain for the Internet of Things is the inherent data security. With blockchain, adequate data security in IoT devices can be guaranteed.
Moreover, given that IoT applications are distributed systems by nature, this makes blockchain the best fit, as it drives the efficient communication between numerous network nodes and ensures that successful transactions are safely recorded in immutable chains.
Additionally, because IoT devices tend to be susceptible to security breaches this consequently makes them a frequent target for DDoS attacks. This simply emphasizes the fact that blockchain stands to be the best solution for data protection.
As a distributed ledger technology, it has the potential to resolve a number of IoT scalability and security issues. Renowned for its remarkable benefits and capabilities, blockchain is definitely a game-changer in the information. It offers a medium through which information can be shared and recorded by a network of users.
Clinitraq, a healthcare organization, uses IoT technology to generate real-time, location-based radiation dosimetry. This helps to capture and process radiation information for healthcare personnel. Dosimeter utilizes NetObjex’s IoT-Blockchain solution to track and manage devices, which demonstrates that tracing and tracking type applications are only the starting points of what can be achieved with blockchain and IoT.
Rise of IoT enabled AI applications
Although Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things are distinct technologies, they usually create commercial solutions. From 2021 onwards, as AI algorithms will require lesser data to generate more successful outcomes, and as IoT devices produce higher and increased quality data, the integration of these two technologies bears increasingly beneficial insights.
In industrial businesses, these two will automate processes so as to cut operating expenses and decrease downtime, and on a commercial scale, their combination will assist wearables and other gadgets to better comprehend human behavior in an automated manner.
5G as an IoT adoption factor
Indubitably, the Internet of Things aids digital transformation, as well as the development of modern business offerings and models. Since it is being used widely with increasing amounts of connected devices, connectivity is the basis of IoT. 5G mobile connectivity was first launched in 2018 and is Pittsburgh l presently going mainstream as it is being largely adopted by several telecommunication operators.
For modern business models, 5G must be an IoT adoption factor that is nimble and agile to meet the required network performance for a large range of evolving IoT device types, applications, and use cases. LPWAN, NFC, RFID, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, satellite, cellular, and so on, are examples of possible types of network connectivity for a device or sensor.
In addition, the fifth-generation mobile connectivity network will provide ubiquitous coverage, faster transmission speed, and reduced latency data transmission. These benefits will allow governments and businesses to deliver refined IoT services with swifter response capabilities and real-time data processing.
Truly, 5G networks will have the greatest impacts on remote surgery, autonomous cars, and real-time network operation of robots in dangerous settings.
Smart vehicles and autonomous driving goes mainstream
By 2023, about 70% of light-duty trucks and vehicles all around the world will be connected to the Internet. By providing entertainment services, fleet information, and driver-assistance apps, IoT vehicles improve the driving experience.
For a while now, Google has been experimenting with autonomous vehicles, and Tesla vehicles have the capability of self-driving in traffic and on the open road. In fact, Mercedes Benz and other legacy automotive businesses have plans for smart cars. From 2021 onwards, the Internet of Vehicles will make use of sensors to process drivers’ biological information and data from the immediate setting so as to make vehicles driving safer and smarter.
Voice-activated IoT devices
Do you know that 80% of our daily interaction is represented by voice? Hence, it is only normal to develop a voice-based UI for ubiquitous IoT devices that have direct contact with humans. In 2021, voice interaction will be evolving from digital assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Echo, and HomePod to other applications as well.
These new user interfaces will enable easy configuration, setup modification, commands giving, and receiving outcomes from devices.
Voice is progressing to becoming normality not only in smart homes but also in hospitals, wearables, vehicles, and factories.
Data Processing with Edge Computing
The increased adoption of IoT solutions, thanks to the decrease in cost necessitates advanced data processing capability as IoT systems usually feature limited data storage. These devices, with edge computing, will accomplish the most incredible outcome and success in cost-efficiency during data processing. In addition, edge computing ensures that data accumulated by a device is directly processed on that device and not transferred to other locations.
This IoT trends is regarded as a strategic technology in order to achieve the maximum potential of digital twins of physical goods. Internet of Things provides insight into the complete product life cycle, unleashes intensive functional intelligence for processors, and enhances maintenance. A digital twin has the capability to optimize IIoT applications, and it has the potential to emerge as an essential pillar for smart manufacturing in the proximal future.
A predictive maintenance solution that is IoT-enabled has the capacity to help businesses in determining future damage by obtaining data from vibration and ultrasonic sensors. This is particularly important in the manufacturing sector as manufacturers aim to have competitive leverage so as to successfully strive on a global level.
Predictive maintenance is currently being employed all over the world for the Internet of Things applications in healthcare, warehousing, logistics, manufacturing, and others.
The demand for Smart Home Will Rise
IoT applications have extended to smart home technology and the adoption of this technology will continue to be on rising so as to increase the interactive level of homes. The evolving demand for energy consumption, safety and security, and consumer convenience is the major driving factor of the growth of the smart home market.
In essence, a smart home comprises a vast range of technologies and features that are linked by VR, AR, AI, voice-first technology, and of course, the Internet of Things among others.
Augmented Role of Data Analytics
The ability and essence of IoT greatly depend on data. It delivers the data in a way that is not only digestible but also actionable, greatly increasing the acceptance of the technology by the consumers. Data analytics can help to enhance the analysis of data generated and processed by the Internet of Things solutions.
Data analytics, when properly executed, will help users to efficiently identify IoT trends or patterns within the data their devices collect. As a result, the insight achieved by the data analysis empowers a business to be adequately equipped with the information required to make smart business product decisions without challenges.
Evolving IoT Applications
The use cases and applications of IoT solutions are rapidly evolving. Today, the applications include smart homes, industrial environments, smart grids, wearables, smart cities, etc.
With the sudden increase and development of this technology in the near future, IoT will expand into other sectors and enterprise settings, contributing to the further digitalization of the world. The knowledge of these IoT use cases will definitely help organizations to implement IoT technologies in the decision process of their future investments.
Unlike disruptive innovations that are altering consumer markets, IoT trends have the capability to maximize the productivity and efficiency of the workforce. It is not surprising that the workforce of any company is the core of all its operations which end up driving business growth and generating revenue.
However, it can be a challenging job to manage them than can be attained with IoT solutions. IoT systems and workforce management utilize a similar ecosystem of cloud communication and computing protocols. The integration of both protocols will facilitate enhanced visibility and flexibility within the company, while also aiding analytical tools to predict lucrative measures correctly.
( Also Read: What is IIoT? Everything You Need to Know )
In conclusion, the IoT trends we have recorded in 2020 and the expected trends for 2021 show that IoT technology is becoming a default design standard for innovative smart solutions. The future of the Internet of Things will rely on – and also determine – the development of several other technologies.
As a result of the increase in smart city solutions and more adoption of the Internet of Things in industries, there will be an increase in the use of AI algorithms, thereby advancing data processing to a higher level. The edge will emerge as the leading computational format, following the rise in the quantity of data.
In all, the Internet of Things is dominating almost every aspect of life. Do not be left behind as many enterprises are already transforming their brilliant ideas into real-life applications. Get a good IoT development company to analyze all spheres of your business case and develop an effective IoT solution that will also make your company unique and noticed.